In his book “Apple Confidence, Owen W. Linzmayer tells of the interaction between John Scully and Steve Jobs, the founder and chief of Apple Computer. Scully, then the legendary CEO of Pepsico, tells how he repeatedly turned down Job’s compelling offer to come head up Apple. Until one day when Jobs said something that rocked Scully’s world,
“Do you want to spend the rest of your life feeling sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world.”
That was the defining moment. Scully changed his mind, quit one of the most lucrative, high-profile CEO positions in America, and moved to California to join the team of this small, upstart computer company with a vision.
So, the question we all need to answer for ourselves:
“Do you want to change the world or even your own personal world?”
If your answer is yes then you are in good company because Jesus was out to change His world. He had a purpose – to bring sinners into the Kingdom and into relationship with the Living God – and He was seriously intentional about this purpose.
So, the first of eleven elements of Jesus’ method of mentoring is that He mentored on purpose. It was not by accident but was very intentional.
To understand His intentionality – we first need to understand His purpose.
Jesus told us His purpose. Recorded by John, He said, “I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full”(John 10:10). This purpose motivated Jesus to do what He did as well as guided the way He did it.
Let’s look for a few minutes at that statement from the Gospel of John. What does it mean to have “life” and by “have it in full”?
Jesus gave us new life by rescuing us from spiritual death and the domain of darkness (Colossians 1:13). This new life is to be experienced now and also continues on when we die. Without this new life we would live without hope now regarding what happens beyond the grave.
But because Jesus fulfilled His life purpose of making a way for us when there was no way – we know that we will die, but still live. Jesus did. He died a public, undeniable death and then miraculously and supernaturally came back to life, showing Himself to those He was mentoring and to hundreds of others as well. He fulfilled His purpose and then, as He was ascending into Heaven, He passed His purpose on to those who believed in Him – His disciples. And, that includes every believer today.
So, we have received “life” as we are born again and have the very life and nature of God with us (John 1:4) and know for certain that when we die we will instantly be with Jesus and our Heavenly Father. But, to “have life to the full” or, as another version states, “have life and have it more abundantly” we must join Jesus in the task that He left for us and do it the way He did it.
Matthew 28:18-20 “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
To have “life to its fullest” while living as disciples we need to move beyond the gift of salvation where we know and experience peace with God (Romans 5:5) as well as the peace of God. We need to be intentional and become involved in His purposeof bringing others into the Kingdom and a personal relationship with the Living God. We need to intentionally get involved in the cause that Jesus started … the cause of redemption. We have to become other focused. We have to start thinking outside our own little world and ask God: “How can I help? What would You have me do? I know that my purpose in life is to bring glory to You and that this is best accomplished by telling others about You. How would you have me go about doing this?”
You will hear His answer – He wants you to go into your neighbourhood and community and touch lives for Him. As you do this He will draw certain people to your attention. These are the ones He wants you to focus on and build relationally with. And, as a result of building relationally, you will then have opportunity to join them on their journey of faith and begin to disciple and mentor them, helping them to take the next step in that journey. If they are not yet born again you will help them to “see Jesus” (John 12:21) and if they are saved then you will encourage and enable them to move forward in their walk with the Lord.
In this way you will be carrying on the purpose for which Jesus came and the task or mandate that He then gave to His people, the Church, the “go into all the world and make disciples.” And, you will be fulfilling The Great Commission the way Jesus showed us it was to be accomplished – by discipling and mentoring.
So, our first of eleven points regarding the way Jesus mentored …
It is on purpose. It is all about the Father and building the Kingdom. Jesus was on a mission, and mentoring was the key strategy to fulfill that mission.
More next time….